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    Nov 04, 2015

    National Gallery to open with fortnight-long celebration

    THE National Gallery Singapore, which has been in the making for a decade, will open on Nov 24 with a two week-long celebration of free events and activities.

    The opening weekend, in particular, will be marked by a carnival that spills out of the museum and onto the Padang, with roads in the area closed to traffic.

    The outdoor block party from Nov 27 to 29 will run from 5pm to midnight and includes art workshops, interactive installations and food stalls at the Padang.

    Admission to the museum's galleries and exhibitions will also be free for all visitors during the opening fortnight, from Nov 24 to Dec 6. The museum is open during this period from 10am to 7pm, Mondays to Thursdays, and 10am to 11pm from Fridays to Sundays.

    Admission to the museum's galleries after the opening celebrations remains free for Singapore citizens and permanent residents, as well as children aged six and under, except for special exhibitions. For non-Singaporean adults, admission is priced at $20, and for children aged seven to 12, admission is $15.

    At yesterday's press briefing on the museum's opening celebrations, its chief executive Chong Siak Ching said: "We want as many people as possible to enjoy the art and our programmes. We will have over 20 free events, exciting performances, including a grand facade show... and many other art activities for all ages."

    The facade show, held during the opening weekend, is a light and sound display that will project animated images of iconic works of art from the museum's collection, including Cheong Soo Pieng's Drying Salted Fish and Chua Mia Tee's Epic Poem Of Malaya, across the front of the former Supreme Court and City Hall, which the museum now occupies.

    In line with the museum's mission to make art come alive and have it spark creativity, the opening celebrations will also feature performances in the genres of dance, music, theatre and film.

    The museum, which can accommodate up to 8,000 visitors at a time, expects 120,000 people to take part in the fortnight-long celebrations. To manage the anticipated crowd and minimise queues, admission tickets to the museum during its opening fortnight will be released online from tomorrow at

    While admission to the galleries is free during the opening fortnight, tickets are required for entry and should there be a crowd, priority for entry will be given to visitors with pre-booked tickets.

    Once in, visitors can navigate the 64,000 sq m museum and locate 100 key works of art in the galleries with the help of the museum's Gallery Explorer mobile app. The app is free for download from Apple's App Store on Nov 18 and will be available from the Google Play Store later.

    Ms Chong said: "(The mobile app) encourages visitors to create dialogues about their experiences with art, which we believe is a very important aspect in making the gallery a place that visitors will keep returning to, and also a place for the community."